Here's what we know about the return of Arena Football to the Times Union Center here in the Capital Region. We know that Head Coach Rob Keefe and Assistant Head Coach Les Moss will be back. We know the team will be part of the NAL - National Arena League. We do not know the name of the team yet but thanks to Liana Bonavita from News 10 we know when we'll know the name.
The Albany Empire left some big shoes to fill for whatever Arena Football team calls the Times Union Center home next (even if it's the Albany Empire) but a familiar face might make that a lot easier. Head Coach of the Albany Empire Rob Keefe is returning to the Capital Region and will coach the Albany Arena team from the National Arena League as early as next year.
It's official we're getting Arena Football back in Albany. The group led by the owners of the Orlando Predators confirmed today that have agreed to a three-year lease with the Times Union Center. Three years speaks to the long term commitment Capital Region Football fans were hoping for. The head-scratcher for some of us was early on in the press conference when asked what the team nickname would be and the answer was they were leaning towards "Firebirds" and were still efforting to acquire the Empire name.
Ever since the Arena Football League folded due to a lawsuit against the league's former leadership, we here in the Capital Region have been holding out hope indoor football would return. News broke earlier today that Arena Football could be far closer to returning than any of us thought. Spectrum News Albany's Jaclyn Cango Tweeted out that the owners of the Orlando Predators of the National Arena League are interested in bringing a team to the Times Union Center.
Levack and Goz have been tracking down and strolling down memory lane with some of the players and coaches that brought the latest Arena Football Championship to Albany. We caught up with head coach Rob Keefe. The always energetic and always competitive Keefe had a lot to share. Coach Keefe is ready to coach, helping an amazing non for profit and thinks Football will return to the Times Union Center.
Ever since the Albany Empire were forced to shut down operations the Capital Region has been in shocked and hoping somehow they'd come back. There's been little to cause hope but now we might have a glimmer after all. Times Union Center General Manager Bob Belber has lit the spark of hope with his recent comments about the potential return of Arena Football.
The Albany Empire took the Capital Region and the Arena Football League by storm last season. Albany went from not having an AFL team to entering the playoffs as the top seed in what felt like no time at all. It felt quick for us but meanwhile Head Coach Rob Keefe and the Albany Empire staff were putting together the team we all came to love. What does Coach Keefe have planned for year two to help the Empire finish their #UnfinishedBusiness?